Video: Oman CBSE Xth topper studied for only 45 minutes at a stretch
May 12, 2019 | 9:15 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: An Indian student who emerged as the Oman topper for the class X CBSE Board examinations has said that she never studied for more than 45 minutes at a stretch.

Gowry Nanda PS, of Indian School Seeb, emerged as the overall topper across Oman, with the results of the exams being announced on Monday. She scored 99 per cent, which amounted to a total of 495 marks out of 500 in five papers, with 100 marks being the maximum a student can score in one subject.

Gowry Nanda PS, of Indian School Seeb, emerged as the overall topper across Oman, with the results of the exams being announced on Monday.

“My total percentage was 99,” said Gowry, who was speaking to Times of Oman from her hometown in Thiruvananthapuram.

“This amounted to 495 out of 500 marks. I got a total of 99 each in Science, Hindi and Mathematics, while I received 98 marks in English and 100 in Social Studies. It is my privilege to be named the Oman topper, and actually, this was by God’s grace. I have always believed in having faith and saying prayers, and there are many times when prayers have helped me. I would like to think that this is one of those times.”

Gowry admitted that while she was indeed happy to have been named topper, she was happier for her school, because this would now help put Indian School Seeb on a par with the other Indian schools in the Sultanate, a status she felt was lacking at present simply because it wasn’t as well known.

“With regards to this grade, it is something I have expected, but somewhere I feel like I have been desiring this, although I should point out this is not as a personal achievement,” explained 16-year-old Gowry. “This is because among all the other schools, Indian School Seeb is not so well known, even though academic achievements are beyond par. I want to make my school famous.”

Gowry revealed that although she did study at times for about eight hours a day, the maximum amount of time she spent continuously studying was never more than 45 minutes, a fact many of her friends and classmates refused to believe.

“It is a common question asked to so many toppers, because I have watched many videos of topper interviews, although I must admit I felt this was a waste of time,” she said.

"I have never studied for more than 45 minutes at a stretch, because my mind needs time to absorb things and assimilate them, and it also needs to rest.

“When I told this to my friends, they didn’t believe me and they said I was lying, but that is the truth,” she added. “The amount of hours a person studies is their own prerogative, because I might cover a study matter in eight hours, but someone might need six hours to incorporate their subject, others might need 10.”

However, there were sacrifices that Gowry still had to make before her exams. She attempted several question papers to get into the mindset of sitting for her Boards, and thought of nothing else but excelling in the two months prior to their commencement.

She recalled: “Quite frankly, I studied intensely for my board exams from the very start of class X, but I did it very thoroughly. If you are thorough, then studying the textbook is not enough. Sample papers were a big part of my preparation. They were an important experience for me. I wrote many sample papers, especially in English, because I need to write this in a timely manner, and I need to convey the ideas on paper. Over the last two months, I didn’t focus on anything apart from studies. I didn’t do it just for myself, but my school as well.”

Having completed her Class X in Oman, Gowry is now celebrating her success with her family, but isn’t planning on resting on her laurels for too long: an ardent admirer of former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, she wants to become an aeronautical engineer just like him, and is already making preparations to attend the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.

“I am not sure about what to do going forward, but I am a big fan of APJ Abdul Kalam,” she said. “He is my idol, actually. I recently finished two of his books, ‘Wings of Fire’ and ‘Reignited’. These spoke to my soul. I want to become an aeronautics engineer, and I hope to one day work for the Indian Space Research Organisation. NASA may have the bigger budget and the better exposure, but if all the experienced and talented scientists go to NASA, then who will be there to make India great?”

Her mother Sheeja said she had already entered herself into coaching classes for the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), a prerequisite to enter India’s famed IITs.

“We can definitely motivate her, and offer her training,” she said. “Class XI in India begins during the first week of June, so she has already joined IIT coaching, for JEE examination preparation. It is her ambition to join IIT Kanpur.”

Her father Pradeep added: “We are very happy at the moment. Actually, she herself had her achievements planned in advance and we just helped her along. During Olympiads, we used to get many gold medals, and so far, we haven’t gotten her a gift for her achievement. But Gowry says that if her friends would have received such marks, they would have received gifts, so she wants a gift as well.

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